Democrats in Great Demand. Can PDM leave from Dodon to ACUM?

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On the evening of February 17, it became known about a meeting in parliament of factions of socialists and democrats with President Igor Dodon and Prime Minister Ion Chicu. The first meeting in this format was held against the backdrop of statements by the PAS party on the possibility for the ACUM bloc and the Democratic Party to approach. While the socialists in parliament are building an alliance with the Democrats, the NM Agency, together with experts, figured out whether an alternative coalition ACUM-PDM is possible, and whether it will become a "trap" for the bloc.


The head of the Action and Solidarity (PAS) faction, Igor Grosu, on the air of Publika TV, said that the ACUM block would take some steps to make joint decisions with the Democratic Party. “I can’t reveal the details but this will relate to strategic cooperation between the parties, including on foreign policy, for example to some recent statements of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Aureliu Ciocoi and to the vote of no confidence that was initiated against him PAS and DA,” Grosu said. In a commentary to NM, he explained more detailed what he ment. According to him, the ACUM bloc can hold discussions with the Democratic Party on certain topics related to European integration and the fight against corruption. Answering the question from NM as to how ACUM will discuss corruption issues with PDM, given that some members of the Democratic Party are associated with participation in corruption schemes, Grosu said that PDM itself should "decide what these people are doing in the party." “We can express our opinion on this matter, but it is up to them. We are observing what is going on in PDM and what decisions they make,” Grosu said. He also said that the ACUM block has developed a project that regulates the privatization and resale of important state assets for the country. The project, according to Grosu provides that the sale or resale of strategically important facilities for the country will need to obtain government permission. “This will be a concrete example [verification] and we will see how they [the democrats] are ready to change something. Loud statements are no longer enough,” Grosu said.


MP from the Platform for Dignity and Truth (DA) Party, Vice-Chairman of the Parliament and DA Deputy Chairman Alexandru Slusar believes that Igor Grosu cannot speak on behalf of the entire ACUM bloc. “If we had a common faction in the ACUM bloc, as we insisted after the election, Mr. Grosu could speak from the ACUM bloc. It’s not our fault that we have two factions but since that is the case, everyone should speak from their faction,” Slusar said. He noted that in the DA party they began to “learn too much information” from the press. For example, Slusar noted about the so-called “non-aggression pact,” which the PAS proposed to sign to all right-wing political forces. According to Slusar, he was surprised to hear of ACUM and Democratic Party cooperation, especially within strategy: "This is the first time I have heard such a wording and don’t understand what this means." According to him, DA does not consider the option of cooperation with the Democrats, as he does not see the process of cleansing the party. “Especially taking into account the kind of personnel decisions the Democratic Party takes,” added Slusar, noting that the Democrats have something to prove not by words but by voting. Speaking of staffing decisions, Slusar had in mind the recent appointments of new PDM deputy chairpersons, which the Party’s National Congress approved on February 15. The vice-chairmen of Pavel Filip’s party became Valentina Buliga, Monica Babuc, Ludmila Guzun, Violeta Ivanov, Ruxanda Glavan, Eugenie Nichiforciuk, Vasile Batca, Igor Vremea and Vladimir Andronachi. Slusar also commented on the PDM and ACUM Declaration as to country's pro-European course confirmation. According to him, DA deputies learned about the PDM initiative to come up with such a draft declaration from PAS colleagues, they received this project from. Slusar considers it “a sterile document that carries few serious things.” According to Slusar, DA will think whether to vote for this declaration or not after the initiative is registered in the parliamentary secretariat. “I want to emphasize that DA is not considering any possibility of strategic cooperation with the Democratic Party in the current composition,” the deputy chairman of DA concluded.


NM could not find out from the PDM management what they do think about cooperation with the ACUM unit. Neither party leader Pavel Filip nor the head of the PDM faction in parliament, Dmitrie Diacov, answered numerous calls from the NM correspondent. The NM interlocutor in the Democratic Party noted that after the indictment of Alexandru Slusar, he doubts the possibility of successful cooperation with the ACUM block ADDED at 20:08. After the publication of the material, Andrian Candu called the NM Agency. He said that the text of Declaration on the European Course of Moldova to the Democrats was passed on by the ACUM bloc members and that today the leaders of the bloc and the Democratic Parties should meet and discuss the declaration. “As far as I know, this meeting did not take place. Therefore, I don’t know what fate awaits this declaration,” Candu said. Regarding the Democrats' cooperation with ACUM on other issues Candu said he did not know anything about this. Earlier, Pavel Filip stated that the Democrats are open for cooperation with ACUM regarding the orientation of the country. “Colleagues are negotiating, but I don’t know at what stage everything is. The situation will be clear not from statements but from specific actions. PDM is a Social Democratic party with a pro-European orientation. We will support everything that will correspond to this course, ” quoted Filip.

What do experts say

According to political analyst Stella Jantuan, the lack of communication between PAS and DA is getting worse. She believes that the “Declaration on the European Way of Moldova”, which Grosu spoke about, is an additional political dividend for the Democratic Party, but not for the ACUM bloc, which already confirmed its commitment to the European course. In PDM, the expert noted, their new doctrine has not yet been made public and is broadcasting the same message as the socialists - a balanced foreign policy. Stella Jantuan believes that a joint vote with ACUM will allow Democrats to gain legitimacy and confirm their status as a pro-European party through the ACUM bloc which "actually led an anti-European policy within the country." The expert recalled that ACUM and PSRM in their joint Declaration on usurpation of power in the country, accused the Democratic Party of trying to usurp power and recognized the PDM as the party that seized the state. “If the PDM gets legitimacy and again becomes or tries to become the golden share that it always desired, it will blackmail partners both left and right to come to power. This was actually stated by Filip when he said that they were not interested in portfolios, they were interested in power so that they could realize their election promises,” the expert said. Jantuan believes that the joint declaration with the PDM does not fit into the logic of actions and statements of the ACUM block and can become a "trap" for the parties of the block. She also drew attention to the fact that the Democratic Party elected new vice-chairmen calling it a “coalition decision,” since the list of deputies included “representatives of all interest groups who are now practically breaking up the Democrats”. “They do not have a single agenda, they can only be united by a return to power, and Filip is now trying to keep the faction in parliament so that it does not break up. They appointed as many as 11 vice-chairmen to give everyone a piece of power,” the expert said. She noted that some of the new vice-chairmen of the Democratic Party appeared in investigations about the use of schemes in the public sector. The surname Andronachi, the expert added, is in the report of the commission of the Husky on the theft of a billion, and Nichiforciuk was accused by Voronin of trying to bribe PCRM deputies. “If ACUM wants to test its potential partners it is necessary to start with bills and not with this declaration,” Jantuan said. Political analyst Corneliu Ciurea, in turn, believes that the possible cooperation between ACUM and PDM is an attempt of the ACUM bloc to weaken the Democrats. “There is a group in the Democratic Party that is interested in working closely with the ACUM bloc. This is the group led by Candu but they have not received high positions in the party. Strategically, it is important for them to maintain a positive tone in relations with ACUM but this is difficult to do because of the block’s attitude towards PDM,” Ciurea said. In his opinion, the leading PDM group could cooperate only in conditions of peaceful relations while the ACUM bloc constantly accuses the Democratic Party of old sins. Answering NM’s question, is there a paradox in the fact that the group led by Candu which ACUM was actively criticizing, is ready to cooperate with ACUM, Ciurea said that “the paradox exists, but here political interests are connected: the radical pro-European wing of the PDM is ideologically compatible with the ACUM block ". “The bloc can use this to weaken this way the Democratic Party. Democrats cannot go in close cooperation with their executioners,” Ciurea said. Answering the question whether based on this logic the Democrats can cooperate with the socialists, who also signed the declaration on usurping the Democratic Party of power, Ciurea said that, given this declaration, “socialists are also acting as executioners [to PDM], but from the point of view of communication socialists are negotiable and one can work with them. " “And that Declaration on captured state was, rather a concession of Socialists to the ACUM bloc in order to form a coalition,” Ciurea said. Recall that on June 8, 2019, the parliament accused the Democratic Party and the Constitutional Court of trying to usurp power. The deputies then adopted the "Declaration condemning the attempt to usurp power by the Democratic Party and its leader Vladimir Plahotniuc through the Constitutional Court."